Mark 10:38 You know not what you ask...

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James and John ask to sit at Jesus's right and left hands when he is recognized.

KJV

Mark 10:38 Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

NIV

Mark 10:38 “You don’t know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?”

LISTENERS HEARD

You do not know what you ask for yourselves: Do you have the power to drink the cup that I myself drink or to be dunked the dunking that I myself am being dunked?

LOST IN TRANSLATION

The first word out of Jesus's mouth here is "no." The "know" here actually means "have seen," but the past perfect tense of "have seen" means to know something in the present.

Jesus uses the pronoun "I" in this verse twice for emphasis. The verb carries this information already so using the pronoun as a subject emphasizes it, like saying "I myself." The two active verbs, "drink" and "baptize" are both the present tense, something happening now. Jesus is not speaking of some specific time in the future.

The humor in this verse is at the end. It is lost because we must reorder the words in English and don't translate "baptize" and "baptism." Those words mean "the dunking" and "to be dunked." The Greek word order makes it sound like they are drinking "the dunking that I myself am being dunked." The infinitive, "to be dunked" doesn't appear until the end of the verse so the initial sense is that they will be drinking the dunking. This sounds a lot like the English phrase "drinking the bath water." In English "to drink" and "to be dunked" has a resonance with "to be drunk" that doesn't exist in Greek.

MY TAKE

We don't have to drink the dunking water.

GREEK ORDER

Οὐκ οἴδατε           τί       αἰτεῖσθε:
not  You do know what you ask for yourselves:

δύνασθε                              πιεῖν τὸ  ποτήριον    ἐγὼ πίνω,
Do you have the power to drink the cup         that I      myself drink

  τὸ βάπτισμα      ἐγὼ βαπτίζομαι                        βαπτισθῆναι;
or the dunking Ithat I     myself am being dunked  to be dunked

# KJV TRANSLATION ISSUES
13
  • WV -- Wrong Voice -- This verb is a middle voice, which requires a "by/for yourselves" or a "yourselves" as an object. 
    CW - Confusing Word. The "can" is not a helper verb, but the active verb in the sentence.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "drink" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to drink."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "of" doesn't exist in the source.
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "and" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "baptized" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to be dunked."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "baptize" means "dunk." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "with" doesn't exist in the source.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "baptism" means "dunk." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "baptized" means "dunk." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "with" doesn't exist in the source.
# NIV TRANSLATION ISSUES
13
  • WV -- Wrong Voice -- This verb is a middle voice, which requires a "by/for yourselves" or a "yourselves" as an object. 
    CW - Confusing Word. The "can" is not a helper verb, but the active verb in the sentence.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "drink" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to drink."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation. "
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • OS -- Outdated Source -- The Greek word translated as "and" existed in the KJV Greek source but not the source we use today.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "baptized" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to be dunked."
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "baptize" means "dunk." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "with" doesn't exist in the source.
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "baptism" means "dunk." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."
  • MW - Missing Word -- The word "that" is not shown in the English translation. "
  • UW - Untranslated Word -- The word "baptized" means "dunk." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "with" doesn't exist in the source.
EACH WORD of KJV

Ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

know -- The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is plural, address not just to the mother, but to the family. It is also in the tense indicating something completed in the past. Literally, this verb means "have seen."

not -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. This is the first word in the sentence, though it negattes the following verb.

what -- There word translated as "what" means "anything" or "anyone."

ye -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

ask: -- The verb translated as "ask" has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." However, it is in a form where the subject acts on or for himself. In this case, the sense is the latter, "you ask for yourself."

missing "by/for yourselves"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act on "yourselves," "for yourselves" or "by yourselves."

can -- (CW) The word translated as "can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power. This is the active verb here, not a helper verb. It takes an infinitive as "have the ability" does in English. --

ye - This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

drink --  (WF) The word "drink" is the Greek for meaning to "drink". It also has a double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate." It is not an active verb, but an infinitive.

of -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "of" in the Greek source

the -- The word translated as "the"  is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

cup -- The word for " cup" means "a drinking-cup", "a wine-cup", "a jar," and "a receptacle" for offerings in the temple. The cup is used by Jesus as a symbol for sharing burdens.

that -- The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

I -- -- The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis that he is referring to his own words. It is unnecessary because the first-person indication is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

drink -- The word "drink" is the Greek for meaning to "drink". It also has a double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate." The tense is the present, not something happening in the future.

of? -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "of" in the Greek source

and -- (OS) "And" is translated from a Greek word that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison. There is nothing in the Greek that can be translated as "and" in the source we use today but it does exist in the source that the KJV translators used.

be -- This is from the passive form of the following verb.

baptized -- (UW, WF) The word translated as "baptized" means to "dunk" or "to dip." It is not an active verb, but an infinitive.  It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

with -- (IW) There is no Greek word meaning "with" here. It is added to make the English flow more smoothly.

the -- The word translated as "the"  is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

baptism -- (UW) This Greek noun first appears in the Gospels and is a noun form of the cerb that means "to dunk" or "to dip" so "dunking" or "dipping." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

that -- The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

I -- The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis that he is referring to his own words. It is unnecessary because the first-person indication is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

am -- This arises from the passive form of the word. This is something that is being done to Jesus.

baptized - (UW) The word translated as "baptized" means to "dunk" or "to dip." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

with? -- (IW) There is no Greek word meaning "with" here. It is added to make the English flow moe smoothly.

EACH WORD of NIV

You -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

do-  -- This English helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in translation from Greek

n't -- The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. This is the first word in the sentence, though it negattes the following verb.

know -- The word translated as "know" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. It is plural, address not just to the mother, but to the family. It is also in the tense indicating something completed in the past. Literally, this verb means "have seen."

what -- There word translated as "what" means "anything" or "anyone."

you -- This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

are  -- This helping verb indicates the present tense of the verb. It is used here to form the present, progressive tense, which doesn't exist in Greek but which can smooth the flow of English sentences.

asking.: -- The verb translated as "ask" has shades of meaning from "demand" to "claim." However, it is in a form where the subject acts on or for himself. In this case, the sense is the latter, "you ask for yourself."

missing "by/for yourselves"-- (WV) A phrase is necessary because the form of the previous verb is a middle voice, which means that the subject is to  act on "yourselves," "for yourselves" or "by yourselves."

Can-- (CW) The word translated as "can" means having the power or possibly a desire to accomplish something. Often, in English, "can" is a helper verb, indicating a possibility. In Greek, it indicates ability or power. This is the active verb here, not a helper verb. It takes an infinitive as "have the ability" does in English. --

you - This is from the second-person, plural form of the following verb.

drink --  (WF) The word "drink" is the Greek for meaning to "drink". It also has a double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate." It is not an active verb, but an infinitive.

the -- The word translated as "the"  is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

cup -- The word for " cup" means "a drinking-cup", "a wine-cup", "a jar," and "a receptacle" for offerings in the temple. The cup is used by Jesus as a symbol for sharing burdens.

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

I -- -- The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis that he is referring to his own words. It is unnecessary because the first-person indication is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

drink -- The word "drink" is the Greek for meaning to "drink". It also has a double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate." The tense is the present, not something happening in the future.

or -- This "or" that means primarily "or" but serves as "than" in a comparison.

be -- This is from the passive form of the following verb.

baptized -- (UW, WF) The word translated as "baptized" means to "dunk" or "to dip." It is not an active verb, but an infinitive.  It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

with -- (IW) There is no Greek word meaning "with" here. It is added to make the English flow more smoothly.

the -- The word translated as "the"  is the Greek definite article. The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. 

baptism -- (UW) This Greek noun first appears in the Gospels and is a noun form of the cerb that means "to dunk" or "to dip" so "dunking" or "dipping." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

missing "that"  -- (MW) The untranslated word "that" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

I -- The pronoun "I" is added to add emphasis that he is referring to his own words. It is unnecessary because the first-person indication is part of the verb ending. Christ sometimes uses it humorously to refer to himself.

missing "myself" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "I myself."

am -- This arises from the passive form of the word. This is something that is being done to Jesus.

baptized - (UW) The word translated as "baptized" means to "dunk" or "to dip." It is the untranslated Greek word adopted into English.

with? -- (IW) There is no Greek word meaning "with" here. It is added to make the English flow moe smoothly.

COMPARISON: GREEK to KJV

Οὐκ [269 verses](adv) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective.

οἴδατε [38 verses](verb 2nd pl perf ind act) "Know" is oida which has the sense of "to know." This listing is not a root word, but the past perfect tense of eido, which means "to see," "to examine," "to perceive," "to behold," "to know how to do," "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." That which "has been seen" is that which is "known." This is a somewhat legalistic idea because the truth can only be established by eyewitnesses.

τί [252 verses] (pron sg neut acc) "What" is from tis which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."

αἰτεῖσθε: [28 verses](verb 2nd pl pres ind mp) "You ask" is from aiteo, which means "to ask", "to demand", "to beg", "to claim," and "to ask for one's own use."

δύνασθε  [61 verses]( (verb 2nd pl pres ind mp)"Can" is the verb, dynamai, which means "to have power by virtue of your own capabilities," "to be able," and "to be strong enough."

πιεῖν , [36 verses](verb aor inf act) "To drink" is from pino, which means "to drink", "to celebrate," and "soak up."

τὸ [821 verses] (article sg neut acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the").

ποτήριον [14 verses](noun sg neut acc) "Cup" is from poterion, which means "a drinking-cup", "a wine-cup", "a jar," and "a receptacle" for offerings in the temple.

[294 verses](pron sg neut acc) "That" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings.

ἐγὼ [162 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and "for myself."

 πίνω, , [36 verses]( verb 1st sg pres ind act ) "Drink of" is from pino, which means "to drink", "to celebrate," and "soak up." -- The word seems chosen for its double meaning. "To drink" also means "to celebrate."

[92 verses](conj/adv)  "And" is e which is a particle meaning "either", "or," or "than." OR (exclam) "Or" is e which is an exclamation meaning "hi!" OR (adv) "Or" is e, which is an adverb meaning "in truth" and "of a surety".

τὸ [821 verses] (article sg neut acc) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Untranslated is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones."--

βάπτισμα [6 verses]( noun sg neut acc ) "Baptism" is baptisma, which is only in the New Testament (and then by Jesus only six or so time. It means "baptism."

 [294 verses](pron sg neut acc) "That" is from hos, which means "this", "that", "he", "she", "which", "what", "who", "whosoever", "where", "for which reason," and many similar meanings. -- The word translated as "that" is a demonstrative pronoun, but it often acts as a pronoun, especially a connective pronoun introducing a dependent clause.

ἐγὼ [162 verses](pron 1st sg masc nom) "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and "for myself."

βαπτίζομαι [8 verses] ( verb 1st sg pres ind mp ) "Baptized" is baptizo, which means "to dip", "to plunge", "to be drenched", "to be drowned," and "getting in deep water."

βαπτισθῆναι; [8 verses] ( verb aor inf pass ) "Baptized" is baptizo, which means "to dip", "to plunge", "to be drenched", "to be drowned," and "getting in deep water."

Possible Symbolic Meaning
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